LowRider Subculture Essay Research Paper Rob BeldingAnt

7 July 2017

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Low-Rider Subculture Essay, Research Paper

Rob Belding

Ant 202

05/07/00

Land Effectss, Tint, Bass, and Other Aspects of the Low-Rider Subculture

In researching informations for this paper I spent one flushing take parting in the activities of the West Side Low-Rider nine. Information was besides gathered through my experience of life in the country where the group hangs out, West Asheville. My source is a friend of mine who is besides a member of the group. With his aid I was able to travel freely among club members. The focal point of the paper is in the symbol which the car represents for the driver and how club members alter or customize the symbol to obtain position.

The West Side Low-Rider nine was established in 1991. The group was started by two brothers, Bobby and Sid. Together with five of their friends, the two work forces have created what is considered one of the largest low-rider nine in North Carolina. Although arising in the sou’-west among Latinos, low-riding became popular in Asheville in the mid 1970ss, and now there are three good established groups in Buncombe county. All of the nines are based in West Asheville, which lies across the Gallic Broad River, from the concern territory of Asheville. Other than occasional sails through business district, most of the nine activities are carried out in West Asheville. My friend Casper, who is a member of West Side, informed me that & # 8220 ; West Asheville is where the true Ashevillians live & # 8221 ; as & # 8220 ; new age flower peoples & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; progressives & # 8221 ; have taken over the remainder of the metropolis.

The division between West Asheville and the remainder of Asheville is an interesting 1. As my source stated above, there are evident differences in the manner the two sides of town position themselves. Asheville has ever been a major tourer finish ; 15 old ages ago, nevertheless, the tourer began to remain twelvemonth unit of ammunition. The metropolis welcomed the largely affluent new occupants, by providing to the demands of the many new lodging developments which began jumping up around the downtown country. In an exodus reminiscent of & # 8220 ; white flight, & # 8221 ; the old occupants began traveling to the less populated countries environing the metropolis. It is this bitterness for the remainder of Asheville which led to the naming of West Side Low- Rider nine, which is called by most, West Side.

& # 8220 ; This material is all about male childs and their plaything & # 8221 ; Mike P.

Members of the group will state you that rank is unfastened to the populace, provided the remainder of the cats like you. There are 150 & # 8220 ; rides & # 8221 ; { a term used to depict a individual and their auto } in the group. All of them are males, between the ages of 16 and 20 seven. I asked why adult females where non allowed into the group, and was told by many that car mechanics, and driving for that affair, were activities which work forces performed better. Probing the issue further I found that most of the members thought that adult females do non necessitate to acquire soiled, and that the work is automatically oriented which happens non to accommodate adult females.

Members of the nine are divided into two classs, work forces and male childs. Male childs are considered so until the 18th birthday which marks the debut into manhood. Sexual experience besides appears to be linked to the separation between work forces and male childs. Virginity is frowned upon, as no male can be considered a adult male, without first sing sexual intercourse. My informant told me that many male childs will lie about their sexual conquering in order to raise their position in the group. The separation between the sexually experient and those considered & # 8220 ; cherries & # 8221 ; is symbolically represented in name naming and gags which bring to illume the sexual sodium? vet? of the male childs in the nine. For illustration, one male child was referred to as & # 8220 ; Lotion & # 8221 ; connoting that his lone sexual pleasance came through onanism.

The impression that adult females are non to be permitted into the nine is interesting, as they are the vehicle through which members achieve ultimate pleasance and position. I speculate that this impression is much like one ground in which many Muslim adult females wear the head covering. In order to alleviate work forces from being distracted by their desire for adult females, a head covering is worn to let free motion of all. The exclusion of adult females from the nine, allows it? s male members to interact without viing for the fondness of female members. In Bedouin society one ground for have oning the head covering is it? s representation of adult females as a separate category from work forces. The West Side members suggest the same separation thoughts in saying that adult females do non necessitate to acquire soiled while working on autos.

As a whole, members of the group assume position and individuality through the autos which they drive. Bing a low-rider nine, the group views the & # 8220 ; mill & # 8221 ; car as a clean canvas, on which a host of looks may be made. In touring the parking batch, my sources showed me what is looked at in sizing up a drive. Custom characteristics are the most easy identified and are hence considered the most of import by many. The points to be modified include: pigment occupation, wheels, rims { hubcaps } , lift { height up } , drop { height down } , undercarriage lighting, and aero- adjustments { accoutrements designed to do the auto more aerodynamic } . Spines are besides considered an of import facet of custom-making the car. Spines bearing the Son of name trade names have become popular, non because of the merchandise they represent, yet an altered significance which the low-riders have created. All of the members of the nine have a big west side spine with the image of a mustachioed bandito on the rear window.

Performance of the car is every bit every bit of import to the partisan, looking for more than a & # 8220 ; batch drive? which sits reasonably but runs like *censored*. & # 8221 ; Keeping a auto? s engine and other parts requires a cognition of mechanics which is coveted by many members of the group. Members of the nine ill-famed for mechanical cognition are revered. The top velocity and rate of acceleration are two mechanical facets which take precedency among low-riders, as retarding force racing is the primary signifier of competition among the group. Exchange of mechanical service for goods frequently takes topographic point leting for the group to incorporate it? s cognition and commitment to their friends in the nine.

The reciprocality among group members is similar to that found in smaller, hunter gatherer communities. The act of reciprocality illuminates a solidarity among group members, in making separate regulations among themselves.

& # 8220 ; The inside of the car is the womb. & # 8221 ;

Casper

Low-riders spend as much clip & # 8220 ; souping up & # 8221 ; the inside of their autos as they do on any other facet of their drive. Members of West Side showed me autos with oriental rug insides, inside neon lighting, and even a covered pick-up trucks made to resemble a limousine. Luxury appeared to be the end, as many of the autos had been fitted with wood particularization, or even fake marble. Colored window tincting on some of the autos creates a coloured chromaticity throughout the inside of the auto. Many low-riders add switches and buttons to the splashboard to make whatever consequence they desire. One source told me of a auto which resembled the inside of Luke Skywalker? s X-wing combatant, from Star Wars.

The hideous alterations made by usage auto partisan appear to be attemp

T to divide oneself from mainstream society. This is achieved through alteration of symbols and stuffs found in dominate civilization. Persons identify themselves with the alterations they make to their autos, leting their cars to project the image that they wish for themselves.

Car Stereos besides are an of import factor in a & # 8220 ; bitchen ride. & # 8221 ; The volumes accomplishable today in cars is reeling. Car Stereos frequently can be heard every bit far as a stat mi off, doing the whole human body to rattle with each bass hit. West Side members, all have customized talker kits in their autos, frequently in the signifier of a box contained in the bole. One member told me & # 8221 ; a good system allow? s you be heard? peoples is hearen, my music. & # 8221 ;

The music played on the stereo is a different affair. Musical gustatory sensation amongst West Side members varied between Rap/ Hip Hop and Country/ Classic Rock. These two genres appeared to divide some members of the group. Many of the Country/Classic Rock hearers felt like the Rap/Hip Hop hearers were non being true to their roots. One cat commented, & # 8220 ; state music is American Born, merely like baseball, hell merely like low-riden & # 8221 ; possibly connoting that Rap and Hip Hop were merchandises of the African American Experience, of which no West Side members are a portion.

The division of the group over musical gustatory sensation gives rise concerns over the turning size of the group. Members complained often of how the group no longer seemed like a household. Possibly the division of the group, via music, has allowed the group to happen greater solidarity in smaller Numberss. As solidarity appears to be a concern in the enrollment issue.

Cruising the strip

Possibly one ground for the constitution of the West Side low-rider nine is the cruising phenomena which takes topographic point on Patton Avenue. Every Friday and Saturday dark 100s of immature people, approximately between 14 and 25years old, drive up and down Patton Avenue, hanging from their autos, retarding force racing, and holding a good clip. Local shop proprietors report that the immature people have been making this for approximately twenty old ages. Complaining about the traffic created by the inflow of autos in weekend, many feel the constabulary should stop the pattern all together. That sentiment is non shared by all nevertheless, many fast nutrient eating houses and gas station employees feel the childs are merely holding a good clip, a adult female at the Amoco station on Patton explained, & # 8220 ; I know I? vitamin D instead my childs be down here cruisen and raisen snake pit than away drinken and driven round the mountains? . childs Don? T normally acquire killed in accidents down here. & # 8221 ; The constabulary are seeable wholly along Patton Avenue

With or without the consent of citizens, the street fills up, and Friday December sixth was no exclusion. It was this Friday that I arranged to run into with my friend Casper to cruise with boys/men of West Side. I met my friend and his comrades in the parking batch of CarToonz, a auto stereo concern on the strip owned by a club member. The parking batch was beating with bass resounding from the many parked autos. This parking serves as the rendezvous point for all West Side members. After touring the parking batch, in Casper? s 1989 Nissan Maxima, we pulled onto Patton and cruised the streets. Patton Avenue has a cement average running it? s length and a U-turn must be made to turn around. As many people are circling, the U-turn lane fills rapidly, and most of the clip exhausted cruising, is really exhausted sitting at brake lights. It is at the brake light that most of the societal exchange in cruising takes topographic point. I watched as Casper leaned from his auto window, speaking to misss and shouting at other patrol cars. He explained to me that it is non uncommon to see a miss in a auto and inquire her to come drive with you. Young people, riders, were continually abandoning autos in exchange for a new drive. I asked my source and his friends, what determines if a miss will come for a drive? They explained that a truly hot auto or a good choice on the stereo can and normally wins a miss over. Possibly make-up for work forces.

After an hr of driving we pulled into Taco Bell and parked. Casper ran inside to purchase a drink, as loitering is non permitted, and we all sat on the goon. Our parking topographic point faced Patton Avenue and the group maintained duologue with about every passer-by. Several autos were parked in the batch and immature people were everyplace. One group appeared to be contending, and Casper explained to me that the two cats at the centre were members of another low-rider nine which was dividing up as a consequence of commitments to two feuding members. The battle began over the hooliganism of a members ride. I asked Casper if battles were common and he said, & # 8220 ; this whole thing is cats and their autos and their adult females, of class there? s battles here. Shit adult male a guys edge to acquire his toes stepped on, there? s a batch of bad mother*censored*ers down here. & # 8221 ;

The Taco Bell parking batch is considered the best on Patton avenue, as it sits at the get downing line of the retarding force strip. Watching close to 15 tyre whining take offs, I became amazed at the strength of the whole thing. My friends explained to me that it? s reasonably much the same thing as arm wrestle and you must make it to acquire regard. I was reminded of a pageant of kinds. The constabulary issue a serious mulct for retarding force racing and their presence in the country attention deficit disorder to a heightened since of exhilaration. I ne’er got to take part in a retarding force race, regretfully.

Drag racing has taken topographic point for decennaries, as a athletics of largely work forces. Many people associate the athletics with aggression and fiery auto clangs. Drivers on Patton Avenue have ritualized drag rushing much in the same mode as many other civilizations have ritualized signifiers of competition. The Yanomamo clasp ax battles as initial signifier of competition or aggression. My informant told me, while physical combat occurs often, the enemies have about ever raced before. Implying that retarding force racing is frequently used ab initio in order to settle differences or novice.

The dark ended with my return to the parking batch of CarToonz. There were a twelve autos sitting, running, wirelesss blasting. I hung about for a small piece and so, thanking Casper and his friends, went place.

Leaving, I couldn? T aid but look into out my auto as I approached. I began inquiring about my auto, and whether it represented me, like apparels. I began to believe of how the West Side members go to extremes to show themselves through their cars. Sing the car as an extension of the ego, a symbol with which the identify. The symbol, car, becomes something with which members use to presume their individuality. This phenomenon is found throughout the universe and is most widely expressed vesture manners. The head covering, besides, has become a symbol with which many Muslim adult females use for individuality. There is no uncertainty that members of West Side experience better about themselves while driving a & # 8220 ; cool ride. & # 8221 ;

There is no quintessential & # 8220 ; cool ride. & # 8221 ; Everyone seems to be taking points from within the same model. The act of custom-making 1s automobile allows a individual to make an single individuality while being a portion of a larger group. This has led to the development of a sub-culture which is rather closely bound to the civilization from which it separates itself.

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